Scorpions search for first win against Pride


Scorpions search for first win against Pride

Senior staff reporter

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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JAMAICA Scorpions will be gunning for their first win of the regional four-day cricket season when they entertain Barbados Pride in the third-round contest at Sabina Park in Kingston, starting today.

First ball is scheduled to be bowled at 10:00 am.

The Scorpions are fifth in the six-team league table with 14.8 points, while third-placed Barbados Pride, who beat defending five-time champions Guyana Jaguars in the previous round, have 25.6 points.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force lead with 29.6 points, just ahead of the Volcanoes (29.4). The Jaguars (24.8) are fourth, while Leeward Islands Hurricanes are last on 4.2.

The Scorpions survived being forced to follow-on to draw their season-opener against hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force after their batting, propped up by Paul Palmer's unbeaten century, held on stubbornly in the second innings.

At home to Windward Islands Volcanoes a week ago, they found themselves in a similar predicament on a pitch which offered a balanced contest between bat and ball before the match ended in a draw. Captain John Campbell and Nkrumah Bonner notched rearguard hundreds as the Scorpions recovered from being forced to follow-on to chase an unlikely win.

Andre Coley, the head coach of the Scorpions, is urging his team to put the pieces together from the first innings.

“Our batsmen need to spend time at the wicket and mix their ability to score with sound defence, and we've shown we have the ability to do that,” Coley said after yesterday's training session.

“The bowlers have to be more consistent. As a bowling unit we need to be more disciplined,” he added, stressing the importance of his bowlers building pressure by sticking to tight lines and lengths.

While accepting that being forced to follow-on is not ideal, Coley credited his players for showing the grit required to mount a comeback on both occasions.

“We've had [good] top-order batting, albeit in the second innings. I would take a loss over a draw any day. We don't play to draw; we play to win, but on those two occasions we had to come back, though it shows a lot of character to be able to do that,” the Scorpions head coach noted.

The Scorpions' 13-member squad welcomes the addition of batsman Brandon King and all-rounder Rovman Powell for this encounter.

Both were part of the West Indies team which faced touring Ireland recently. King is set for his first game of the four-day season, while Powell played the match against the Red Force before West Indies Twenty20 duty ruled him out of the Volcanoes contest.

The Scorpions players left out are Guyanese-born left-hander Assad Fudadin and wicketkeeper/batsman Aldaine Thomas. Both have struggled with the bat.

The Pride, though losing their opening match away to the Volcanoes, garnered plenty of confidence after their recent resounding, seven-wicket win over the Jaguars, the dominant force in regional four-day cricket for the past several years.

But the Pride Head Coach Emmerson Trotman said his team is guarded against complacency.

“We all know Jamaica is a good team and they play strong cricket against Barbados, so we're not taking anything lightly. We're very serious about our cricket, and we want to be as positive as possible,” he told reporters ahead of practice yesterday.

“We're looking on to carry some momentum. The boys haven't been performing badly, although we had a bad start in St Vincent against the Windwards. But the guys learnt from that…they had a very good game against Guyana, so they are pretty confident,” Trotman added.

Squads: Scorpions — John Campbell, Oraine Williams, Brandon King, Jermaine Blackwood, Paul Palmer, Nkrumah Bonner, Rovman Powell, Derval Green, Jamie Merchant, Marquino Mindley, Patrick Harty, Denis Smith, Nicholson Gordon

Pride — Kraigg Brathwaite, Sheyne Moseley, Shamarh Brooks, Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich, Kyle Mayers, Justin Greaves, Kevin Stoute, Ashley Nurse, Jomel Warrican, Kemar Roach, Chemar Holder, Keon Harding

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